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Dakota Access Pipeline could contaminate a primary source of drinking water

Dakota Access Pipeline

(NaturalNews) The Dakota Access Pipeline could potentially contaminate important waterways that provide the Midwestern U.S. with drinking water, say activists and environmental groups fighting the proposal.

Also referred to as the Bakken Oil Pipeline, the infrastructure would transport nearly 500,000 gallons of crude oil per day through America's heartland. The reserves would be pumped from North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and into Illinois.

Oil and gas exploration suggests that the Bakken Formation may hold as many as 7.4 billion barrel of untouched oil, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. But the consequences of extracting and transporting the lucrative oil could mean irreparable damages to the environment.

North Dakota Pipeline would threaten sacred tribal lands

One of the major concerns surrounding the pipeline plan is the impact it will have on drinking water. Environmentalists say the plan could threaten waterways because of the fact that it will flow beneath the Missouri River, from which most of the Midwest receives its water.

"Research consistently shows that virtually every oil pipeline that has been built inevitably leaks and causes significant damage to the environment and living organisms in the area. Any leakages would result in peril for Standing Rock sacred sites and drinking water," according to The Volante.

The Dakota Access Pipeline would predictably disturb the sacred, ancestral tribal lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, established as part of the Great Sioux Reservation under the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie.

The tribe relies heavily on the Missouri River as source of clean water.

Indian Country reports:
"The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is arguing in court that the Dakota Access Pipeline was fast-tracked by the federal government, which is a direct violation of the Tribe's rights as a sovereign nation because it will hurt the Tribe's safe drinking water and historic and cultural resources. The Tribe has asked the United States government to conduct a more stringent environmental review to ensure the protection of the Tribe's treaty rights and sacred places."

Oil industry stands to rake in huge profits from pipeline project

The pipeline is expected to be built by Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC, using a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. The oil company, as well as the federal government, stands to profit tremendously from the project.

Dakota Access says the construction phase alone will generate an estimated $156 million in sales and income taxes for state and local regions, as well as create tens of thousands of jobs.

However, economic benefits can never outweigh the importance of clean, natural resources. Reports of pipeline accidents are abundant; they include fires, explosions, propane releases, oil leaks and more, according to data provided by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Pipeline leaks happen frequently, data show

For example, in September 2010, a 34-inch pipeline owned by Enbridge energy operating in Will County, Illinois leaked more than 6, 400 barrels of Saskatchewan heavy crude oil beneath the pavement in a neighbored. Damages and environmental remediation totaled more than $46 million.

The Dakota Access Pipeline would be approximately 30-inches in diameter and about 1,172 miles long. Researchers say the Bakken formation is producing more than one million barrels per day.

"In April of this year, researchers at the University of Michigan found that the Bakken field is emitting about 2 percent of the world's ethane, about 250,000 tons per year into the air, directly affecting air quality across North America," according to reports.

"These emissions, combined with combustion of Bakken oil, are major contributors to the Global Climate Crisis that threatens the well-being of our environment, future generations, and the Earth."

The United Nations Permanent Form on Indigenous Issues says the U.S. government has a responsibility to consult the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe before moving forward with the pipeline project.

The UN body said the U.S. should offer the tribe a "fair, independent, impartial, open and transparent process to resolve this serious issue and to avoid escalation into violence and further human rights abuses."

For more information on the actions being taken by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, visit their Facebook page.











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